AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards
What, you thought the days of Beal in trade talks were over just because he signed a shiny new deal?
Even with Beal, the Wizards are a play team at best this season. A trade for Monte Morris did nothing to solve the point guard dilemma and Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t gone past 57 games since the 2016-17 season. Washington is destined to be a sub-.500 team in a loaded East. At 29, how long can Beal really be okay with this?
Beal got his money ($251 million over five years) and a non-trade clause, so he will have a say in a potential new home. No one would fault Beal for asking, and it might be in Washington’s interest to rebuild as well.
Kevin Durant, F, Brooklyn Nets
After sitting on an unmet trade request for two months, does anyone think Durant won’t ask again at some point?
Just because the Nets didn’t get the return they wanted for the 33-year-old superstar doesn’t mean that offer won’t come from a desperate team during the regular season. Injuries and teams that were once seen as contenders stumbling through the door could easily convince a franchise to make a massive swing for Durant, one the Nets may not be able to turn down.
It is still a player who wanted his head coach and general manager were fired, the same people he will be working for and receiving orders for this season. There just has to be some unease about the whole situation, whether Brooklyn wants to pretend it exists or not.
Teams like the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks should be very interested in bringing Durant on board.
Kyrie Irving, PG, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets won’t trade Irving until the start of the season, but should be terrified of entering contract negotiations with him next summer as well.
A mid-season trade may be better for all parties, as Irving can seriously rehabilitate his image simply by being available to start the year. He’s still one of the most talented players in the NBA, a Brooklyn should be able to salvage a decent amount of picks/talent if Irving gets off to a good start.
Nothing with the Nets should be considered stable this season, with the availability/happiness of Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons with the organization all up in the air. Brooklyn could turn into a dead whale dancing in the ocean where all the sharks come to bite, or congregate and have the skill to win a championship.
If it’s the former, however, Irving could have a huge impact on a team like the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers or Dallas Mavericks.